I have been wanting to write about my favorite Seattle restaurant for awhile, just never sat down to do it, but I was here last week again and thought it was about time. This place I am talking about, this place that ever time I go to I say, “wow that was a fabulous meal” is called Café Juanita, in Kirkland, WA. This place is my favorite restaurant in Seattle, well it is in Kirkland, WA 20 minute drive from Seattle, WA but worth the 20 minutes drive.
Where do I start? I have been here many times, and when there is a big birthday, anniversary, or a special event this is where I go to eat. I know that every time I will have an excellent time and a fabulous dinner and never disappointed. It is not cheap but it is the same price as many nice restaurants in Seattle but this place is worth ever penny.
The chef is Holly Smith who has received many awards and recognition for her cooking; she was even on the Iron Chef. Not that it really matters but just to show you that this place is worth going to.
First make a reservation, this place is always full, but they never seat you next to another table that is starting to eat at the same time as you. So it never feels crowded. They have this down, I don’t understand why other places don’t do this, it is great.
When you walk in don’t let the small dining room fool you, I was a little surprised the first time but now I like it better than large fancy rooms, it feels more intimate. Now to the service, WOW, their service in impeccable. The way the staff describes the evenings specials to their wine expertise is just amazing. And I can’t forget to mention, their wine menu is amazing. If you don’t know what to order as their Sommelierwho is amazing.
There are always a few specials on the menu, the specials are always amazing, this last evening I had the for the second time their cold tomato soup or Papa el Pomodoro, tomato soup with bread. If you are ever at Café Juanita and they have their cold tomato soup special, get it. It is hands down the best tomato soup I have ever had. It is so good that ever time have it I always think of ordering it for dessert.
If they do not have the tomato soup as the special my second favorite is their Seared Foie Gras with Rhubarb, Candied Ginger and Cocoa nibs. I usually do not order Foie Gras because most place do not know how to prepare it. But this is the best Foie Gras in Seattle, it melts in your mouth. If you don’t like this Foie Gras you don’t like Foie Gras.
Some of the other appetizers I have had here that are also excellent are Prosciutto di Parma with Chiacchiere, and Veal Sweetbreads with Fried Capers and Parsley, Ligurian Olive Oil are both excellent too.
Now for the salads and pasta. Since I am a beet lover I always order their beet salad, this time they had their Baby Beets with Marcona Almond Butter and La Tur Bombolino. Delishhh! And for the pasta their Gnocchi is my favorite this time they had the Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Morels and English Peas. Very good! But I have had their risotto before and it Is also very good.
For the entree their specialty is the rabbit. My husband has never had any other entrée here because the rabbit dish is that good, Local Rabbit Braised in Arneis with Ligurian Chickpea Crepe, Pancetta and Porcini. I have explored and had several entree dishes here, some of my favorites are their lamb dish, Saddle of Oregon Lamb with Baby Artichokes, Fava Beans, Lemon Emulsion and Taggia Olive, also some of the other things that they have special on are Black Cod, and the other night I had the Scallops with Celery Puree, it was delicious.
What I am really trying to say is that everything on the menu that I have had here is excellent and you really can’t go wrong.
Now for the dessert, usually I am too full to have any dessert so I have only had a few times. I like simple desserts. Their homemade ice cream is great, you can’t go wrong. Their Creme Brulee is amazing. This past night I had their Bing Cherry Parfait, it was ok, I was too full to finish it. I would probably not order it again.
But I did have some amazing dessert wine, Moscato d’asti, I think it is my new favorite.
So for those that have not been yet – you are missing out!
9702 Northeast 120th Place
Kirkland, WA 98034-4206